Dealing with "the public" (the church congregation) is an extremely important aspect of our role as pastors' wives. This type of interaction cannot be taught in a classroom; however, by following a few etiquette guidelines and using a generous dose of tactfulness when dealing with fellow church members, you can alleviate some of those "awkward and unpleasant" moments that occur in the life of a minister's wife.
The mini-quiz that follows will give you some helpful hints on how best to handle various situations. Some of the multiple-choice questions have more than one answer. (The answers will follow at the end of the quiz.) Good luck and have fun!
1. When introducing your husband (the pastor) to a visitor at church you:
a. present the visitor to the pastor.
b. present the pastor to the visitor.
c. use first and last names.
d. show deference to whomever is ranked higher in their profession.
2. As a pastor's wife, always stand when being introduced to:
a. a woman.
b. a visitor.
c. Elder Folkenberg's wife.
d. the janitor's wife.
e. a man.
3. A pastor's wife should be a good conversationalist:
a. She can talk about anything and everything.
b. She loves to provide insights on most any topic being discussed.
c. She has many interests.
d. She is well read and has very strong views on many topics.
4. Some topics are best avoided in a business meeting of the officers for Women's Ministries. Some examples are
b. religious red "hot" potatoes C. health
5. Because our churches are much less formal these days, it is entirely acceptable to call people by their first name.
6. The pastor does not cease being a gentleman during regular working hours. It is always appropriate for him to extend social graces (open doors, etc.) to women at work or out in public.
7. The church office grapevine should be of no use to you.
8. All phone calls should be returned within 24 hours.
9. A thank-you note should be written after:
a. dinner at the conference president's home.
b. dinner at a church member's home.
c. receiving a gift from another pastor's wife.
d. attending the symphony as a guest of a church member.
10. A thank-you note is not necessary if you have already thanked the person face-to-face.
11. A thank-you note should be written within one week.
12. A new church member is getting married. You should:
a. send a gift.
b. give a wedding shower.
c. write a note of congratulations.
d. ignore it; it is personal.
13. Condolence notes should not be written to people you do not know well.
14. You may respond to invitations up to one week before the event.
Answers to the quiz
1. b, c; 2. a, b, e, d, e; 3. b, c; 4. b, c, d; 5. b; 6. a; 7. b (Know what is going on, but do not encourage or perpetuate negative gossip.) B. a; 9. a, b, c, d; 10. b; 11. a (within 24 hours is best); 12. c; 13. b; 14. b (respond within one week of receiving the invitation)